We are gardening at Mom's farm which is about 2 miles from our home. Sam removed her (yes, I now know it's her--more on that later) from the basket. For the next hour, she followed Sam up and down the rows as he ran the tiller in the south garden. I picked the asparagus and gathered some rhubarb in the north garden.
I was kneeling in the row of onions, hand-weeding and hoeing. When I looked up, Sam was crossing the road with the duck and the tiller. The duck paused for a drink of water in the pan I had put out for her.
As she was drinking, she noticed me and immediately ran toward me, quacking in delight. While I'm not any expert on duck emotions, I do know that they are emotional creatures, and by gosh that duck was happy.
She came closer and closer to me until she was touching my knees and seemed to be trying to climb up into my lap. She turned her head to the side and allowed me to pick her up. I held her close and she nestled her beak into the crook of my elbow.
I gently stroked her soft feathers and she murmured her appreciation. Soon, she began to wiggle and I let her go back the business of eating dirt and nibbling on the weeds I was pulling.
All this time, I thought she was just following us because that's what ducks do, they follow. Now I know she wanted something, needed something. I just had to be still long enough to find out what it was.
Could this be what grief is like? If I keep moving, busy, occupied, it will not catch up to me. Eventually however, it does. In those time, I run to God's arms. I don't like to cry--and it's hard to feel sad for long around this duck.
Mom is never far from my thoughts, especially in the garden. And I wish she could see me. Holding a duck. In the garden. Weeding. Smiling. Grieving.